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Cardiovascular Health


Heavy smokers are twice as likely as nonsmokers to have a heart attack! ... Heart Attack Warning Signs. According to the American Heart Association, heart ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Cardiovascular Health

Cardiovascular Health
Risk Factors for Heart Disease
  • Things you cannot change
  • Age
  • Family history
  • Your past
  • Things you can do something about
  • Abnormal cholesterol levels
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Being overweight
  • Having a sedentary lifestyle
  • Smoking
  • Stress
  • In essence
  • your future!

  • Blood cholesterol levels are strongly associated
    with the intake of saturated fats and cholesterol
    in our diets.
  • Some cholesterol is needed to maintain healthy
    body tissues, but blood cholesterol levels that
    are too high (greater than 200 mg/dl) are
    associated with heart disease.
  • Cholesterol contributes to atherosclerosis, which
    is a build-up of fatty material within the blood
    vessles. This causes the vessels to become
    weakened and narrowed, placing increased pumping
    stress on the heart.

Lipid Streaks
Lipid streaks are the first visible signs of
atherosclerosis. They appear pale yellow in this
picture of an aorta.
This picture shows cross sections of a coronary
artery with marked atherosclerosis.
Aortic Aneurysms
  • Atherosclerosis can weaken blood vessel
    wallspressure from within the vessel can then
    cause these areas to bulge out, forming
  • Aortic aneurysms usually occur below the kidneys.
  • When aneurysms get big, they often rupture,
    causing massive bleeding which can be fatal!

  • Overall blood cholesterol levels are important,
    but NOT as important as the TYPES of cholesterol
    that comprise your total level
  • LDL the BAD cholesterol
  • Levels should be less than 130 mg/dl
  • HDL the GOOD cholesterol
  • Levels should be greater than 35 mg/dl

Cholesterol and Diet
  • Cholesterol is found only in foods from animal
    sources, not in plant foods.
  • Some foods with high amounts of cholesterol
    include high fat meat and dairy products, egg
  • Cholesterol intake should be 300 mg per day or

Cholesterol and Diet
  • Foods high in saturated fats (high fat dairy and
    meat products, hydrogenated vegetable oils ) have
    been shown to raise blood cholesterol levels.
  • Polyunsaturated fats (corn, canola, and soybean
    oils, fish), on the other hand, lower blood
    cholesterol levels.
  • Monounsaturated fats (olive oil, nuts, avocadoes)
    lower LDL levels but do not lower HDL levels!
  • No more than 30-35 of total calories each day
    should come from fat, and no more than 10 from
    saturated fats.

  • The association between blood homocysteine levels
    and heart disease has been the subject of many
    recent news reports.
  • Homocysteine is an amino acid that is made by our
    bodies. Large amounts can damage blood vessels,
    leading to increased atherosclerosis and heart
  • The B vitamin folate removes homocysteine from
    the blood.
  • Since most processed foods have lost their B
    vitamins, eating lots of folate-rich fruits and
    vegetables is a great way to reduce risk!

Type 2 Diabetes
  • Diabetes can contribute to other risk factors
    associated with heart disease, like high
    cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, and an
    increased tendency towards forming blood clots.
  • These mechanisms can also damage nerves, which
    can lead to the misinterpretation of important
    pain signals, like chest pain.
  • Action Weight control and exercise helps to
    prevent and to control diabetes.

High Blood Pressure
  • High blood pressure is known as the silent
    killer because it can cause damage to your
    heart, blood vessels, brain, and kidneys that
    gives you no symptoms until it is too late!
  • The increased pumping load that high blood
    pressure places on the heart can eventually
    damage it. The heart may become stretched out
    and weakened, or may become so muscular that it
    can no longer fill properly.
  • Action Achieve a healthy weight, quit smoking,
    and cut down on salt and caffeine. If these
    dont do the trick, a prescription may be

Blood Pressure What is normal and what is too
Blood pressure(mm Hg)
High blood pressure can cause blood vessels in
the brain to burst, resulting in hemorrhage and a
Ventricular Hypertrophy
High blood pressure can place extra stress on the
left ventricle of the heart, causing its walls to
thicken and enlarge (hypertrophy).
  • People with excess body fat, especially carried
    in the waist area, are more likely to develop
    heart disease and stroke even if they have no
    other risk factors.
  • Excess weight increases the strain on the heart,
    and raises blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
    It can also make diabetes more likely to
  • HOWEVER, the latest research shows that even if
    you are very overweight, a loss of as little as
    10-15 lbs can reduce your risk of developing
    heart disease!

Sedentary Lifestyle
  • An inactive lifestyle is a risk factor for heart
  • Approximately 12 of all deaths each year in the
    US are primarily attributable to a lack of
    regular physical activity.
  • Less active people have a 30-50 greater risk of
    developing high blood pressure than more active
  • However, it is a myth that exercise must be
    strenuous in order to lower risk. Even moderate
    exercise several times each week (for example,
    brisk walking) is helpful in lowering risk.

  • Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol can cause
    irregular heartbeats.
  • Heavy drinking can also cause the heart to swell
    and increase in size, leading to feelings of
    fatigue, angina pain, and difficulty breathing.
  • It can also cause high blood pressure. In fact,
    it is the third largest cause of high blood
    pressure in this country!

  • Heavy smokers are twice as likely as nonsmokers
    to have a heart attack!
  • Smokers are also 60 more likely to suffer from
    advanced coronary artery disease than nonsmokers.
  • Quitting smoking is one of the most important
    lifestyle changes that you can make to decrease
    your risk of heart disease.

Heart Attack
This picture shows the interventricular septum of
the heart after a heart attack. The paler,
tan-yellow portions represent dead tissue.
Heart Attack
  • The left ventricle pictured previously suffered a
    heart attack.
  • The upper half of the ventricle was not effected,
    and consists of normal heart tissue.
  • The lower half of the ventricle was effected,
    however, and now consists of thin, fibrous scar
    tissue that can no longer contract.
  • This defect impairs the ability of the heart to
    pump blood effectively, and stresses the rest of
    the heart.

  • For most women, using oral contraceptives (the
    pill) is perfectly safe.
  • However, if you both smoke and take oral
    contraceptives, your risk of suffering a heart
    attack increases 39 times!
  • If you use the pill and smoke, consider talking
    to your doctor about other methods of birth
    control or about quitting smoking.

  • Stress activates the autonomic nervous system,
    whose role it is to generate unconscious
    responses to factors in our environment.
  • The autonomic nervous system responds to stress
    by increasing the production of stress hormones
    (cortisol, epinephrine) which increase heart rate
    and raise blood pressure.
  • This mechanism helps the body to cope effectively
    with short-term stressful situations, but if it
    is activated continually for long periods of time
    it can eventually damage the heart and blood

  • Some ideas to help manage stress
  • Exercise is a proven way to reduce stress.
  • No matter how busy you are, dont turn your back
    on your own needsset aside some time each day
    for yourself to do an activity that you enjoy.
  • Empower yourself by working actively to change
    the things you can, while letting go of worrying
    about the things you cannot change.

Heart Attack Warning Signs
  • According to the American Heart Association,
    heart attack victims may suffer any or none of
    the following symptoms
  • Uncomfortable pressure, fullness, squeezing or
    pain in the center of the chest lasting more than
    a few minutes.
  • Pain spreading to the shoulders, neck or arms.
  • Chest discomfort with lightheadedness, fainting,
    sweating, nausea or shortness of breath.
  • Palpitations, cold sweat, paleness, or fatigue.

Stroke Warning Signs
  • According to the American Stroke Association,
    victims of a stroke may suffer any or none of the
    following symptoms
  • Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or
    leg, especially on one side of the body.
  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes.
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of
    balance or coordination.
  • Sudden, severe headache with no known cause.

  • Not everything that is faced can be changed, but
    nothing can be changed until it is faced.
  • James Baldwin